Commodity booms and busts are nearly as old as the discovery in Latin America of copper, coal and oil. But after the exhilarating rise of commodity prices during 2004-2012, the most recent descent, with its painful manifestations of contracting economies, fiscal deficits, currency depreciations and inflation, has struck the region particularly hard. But how hard? And why? A … [Read more...] about Riding the Commodities Roller Coaster in Latin America
IDB Chief Economist Reflects on Region
The LinkedIn page of José Juan Ruiz, the IDB's chief economist, shows not a photo of himself but a drawing by the iconic Spanish cartoonist Andrés Rábago, alias El Roto, depicting an exhausted traveler and emigrant draped over his suitcase, deep in sleep. "The dreams of a nation produce exiles," says the caption over the weary man. It is a fitting observation for Ruiz, a … [Read more...] about IDB Chief Economist Reflects on Region
Have Latin American Countries Become More Competitive?
Over the last two years, Latin America has experienced significant movements in nominal exchange rates. Between June 2014 and October 2015, most of the larger countries in the region —including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Uruguay — saw nominal depreciations of at least 15 percent. The Brazilian Real lost more than 42 percent of its value vis-à-vis the US … [Read more...] about Have Latin American Countries Become More Competitive?
Take Obama’s Advice on Climate Change: Droughts Are Hurting Latin America
After his visit to Argentina last week, Barack Obama posted on Facebook a picture of a beautiful landscape in Patagonia where he went trekking along glacial lakes, as an example of what he called “exactly the kind of place we need to protect for our kids, and for their kids.” Climate change is high on the American president’s agenda and it’s an issue with consequences that are … [Read more...] about Take Obama’s Advice on Climate Change: Droughts Are Hurting Latin America
Fighting the Spending Demon
We buy everything we crave at the supermarket; purchase the latest electronic gizmos the minute they appear; and download movies on the internet with abandon. Then we wonder why we have no money for a new car or savings for retirement. What in the world is wrong with us? The truth is that we aren't as morally weak as we think. Science shows that many of us are genetically wired … [Read more...] about Fighting the Spending Demon